The world is becoming urban at a terrifying rate. Around 2050 over seven of the world’s nine billion people will live in cities. This unavoidable urbanisation poses enormous political, social, economic and environmental challenges. At the same time cities offer the solutions for twenty-first-century issues. The city is our future, but only if it is governed, designed and planned better than is the case now. Making City explores future city scenarios and puts design centre stage.
The city as an opportunity
International Architecture Biennale, Rotterdam (NL)
Kossmanndejong has designed the main exhibition, Making City, of the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam. Making City shows how the city of tomorrow could emerge and the role designers can play in this process. The exhibition presents the city as an opportunity, not as a problem. It is exactly the city that can offer a convincing response to the challenges of the twenty-first century. But then we first have to manage to design and organise the city in a different way. Current projects from over thirty cities across the world show how that may be feasible.
The spatial manifesto Making City has been exhibited in the NAI’s main hall in Rotterdam for five months. Thirty-three projects from all over the world were showing current thinking about cities. Upon entering the exhibition the visitors started their journey in the central space, where titillating quotes about urbanisation and a brief introductory film were presented. This film, and a series of monumental photographs immediately highlighted what the exhibition was about: the city of tomorrow and the role of designers.
Graphic lines on the floor led the visitors from the introduction space along the thirty-three projects. The projects have been grouped around to nine themes, and are very diverse in the way they are being presented. Walking along all the themes and projects, the visitors get to know the challenges and solutions around the topic of urbanisation.
The projects that were being presented in the exhibition reflected developments as they were taking place. As some projects continued to develop they were updated in the course of the exhibition.